Tuesday 14 February 2012

Whispering Sweet Nothings by Icy Sedgwick - February Femmes Fatales

This is Icy Sedgwick's maiden sojourn here at The Feardom, and I am mightily pleased to welcome her to the February Femmes Fatales showcase. As she and I share tweets on the very important topics of corsets, bodices and boots I do believe she will feel quite at home with all the Femmes Fatales.

Icy is a queen of pulp fiction, indeed her first novel - The Guns of Retribution, a Western - is published by Pulp Press. If you want to read more of her work do take the time to visit her blog where she shares and opines. In the meantime I just know you're going to enjoy the magical...


I sat in the car, twisting the key in the ignition and thumping the steering wheel. It worked in the movies, but not in reality. Instead of flaring into life, the engine sputtered, wheezed, and died.

“Oh for the love of – I haven’t got the patience for this!”

Pounded the wheel one last time for good measure, I threw open the car door. I wasn’t exactly running late for a pressing appointment but shopping needed to be done ahead of my date that evening, and no desire to use the bus. I slammed the car door shut and stomped back up the path to my house, heading for the spare room.

The curtains stay closed to keep the room dim – can’t have my pretties being exposed to sunlight. I flipped the switch and the electric glare cut through the dancing dust motes spinning about the room. Wide shelves set into the wall opposite the window held rows of large glass jars. Each one bore a handwritten label, and each one contained a heart.

I stood on my tiptoes and scanned the labels of the jars. I knew it was there somewhere; I just had to find it. The light fell on the label of a jar near the back. The delicate black script spelled out the name Gary McKillock. Success! Pulling the jar free from its neighbours, I tapped on the glass, watching the heart shudder in its viscous fluid. It belonged to Gary McKillock, a mechanic who lived three streets away. I snared his heart but I still dreaded running into him at the shops, due to his fondness for meandering stories and overpowering aftershave. Still, on this occasion, I could do with a favour, and needs must when the Devil offers a hot date.

I unstoppered the jar and dipped my hand inside. It’s amazing how cold that liquid gets when it’s just sitting in the dark. Balancing the heart in the palm of my hand, I drew a sigil in the air above it. A corresponding sigil lit up on the right ventricle, glowing in pale green.

“You will feel needed. You will get an overwhelming urge to call me, and you will call me right now,” I whispered. The sigil faded, and I slid the heart back into the jar.

My pocket vibrated and a square of light shone through the material of my jacket. I fished out my phone – I didn’t even need to read the name on screen to know who was calling.


“Diane? Is that you?” That nasal tone was unmistakable.

“Hi, Gary! What a wonderful surprise!”

“How are you? Just realised it was a while since I’d heard from you...thought I’d call to see how you are.” I shuddered at the faint trace of hope in his voice.

“I’m fine, sweetie, just fine. Well, all except for my silly car.”

“What’s wrong with it?” Ah, there’s that tone. Curiosity.

“I don’t know, it just won’t start.”

“That’s no good. Listen, I don’t need to go to the garage for another hour, do you want me to pop round to take a look at it?

“Oh, would you? Only if it’s absolutely no trouble to you.”

“No trouble at all. I’ll be there in about ten minutes.”

I said my goodbyes and slipped the phone back into my pocket. Gary’s jar slid back into its slot among the other jars on the bottom shelf. Another name, this time on a jar at the front of the shelf, caught my eye. Heston Crater. How could I forget Heston? He owned La Coquille, a seafood restaurant on the high street. Memorable less for his cuisine and more for his bad teeth and penchant for mismatched socks, I couldn’t stand his mindless prattle but he never let me pay when he invited me to drop by for lunch.

Seconds later, his heart was in my hand, and I was whispering sweet nothings to his left atrium. I smiled, already tasting the squid in lemongrass broth, and returned his heart to the jar.

My phone rang.

_________ The End _________

Bio: Icy Sedgwick is based in the North East of England. She has been writing for over ten years, and contributes articles to Write Anything and Fuel Your Writing, and is working on a PhD in Film Studies.

Icy has also had her first book, The Guns of Retribution, published through Pulp Press.


  1. Ha ha, love it! Brings a whole new meaning to holding someone's heart in your hands. Love the concept, Icy. One wonders what mischievous troubles Diane may stumble upon in the future. I'd love to read more of this story.

  2. I loved it too! There was something wickedly dark about this lady— one better be careful she could be only a heart beat away! ^_^

  3. Wicked concept, reminds me of that new song "Jar of Hearts" by somebody I heard on the radio. But this is way better. xx

  4. Now I'm singing hearty versions of "I REALLY GOTTA HOLD ON YOU". (rolls eyes at Carrie)

    BRAVA ICY -- WHAT A SUPREMELY COOL CONCEPT. I was snickering and smiling at your wit here there and everywhere ... everywhere that careful detailing swiftly set the stage as well. From meandering stories and overpowering aftershave to squid in lemongrass broth, lady -- I was grinnnnnnin!

    Who needs a hot app when the Femme Fatales have Icy's cool heartthrobs to call to the scene. The closing with your titled SWEET NOTHINGS was perfection.

    ~ ~ ~

    And Lily? Stashin' this one in our Valentine's Boxes -- What a lovely treat! Helen and Anna - pass the bon bons will you?

    ~ Absolutely*Kate

  5. A handy little trick. This was deliciously fun and twisted, Icy.

  6. brilliant - the idea and the execution (excuse pun) of the idea, Icy! Loved it!

  7. Loved this story, Icy. PERFECT for Valentine's Day!

  8. Excellent! Great idea and beautifully executed. That would be an interesting collection indeed, especially for Valentine's...

  9. I'm glad people are enjoying this!

  10. An icy heart is a key trait for a femme fatale. Fantastic story, Icy.

    Thanks Lily, for serving it up!

  11. To have that kind of power, well, the Devil isn't looking so bad!

    Enjoyable read, Icy. Loved the concept, the drawing of sigils and sweet whispered nothings, and the pacing was perfect.

    An excellent Valentine's tale.

  12. I love it when a writer takes a well known turn of phrase and just runs with it. This was so much fun - one stop shopping in her own cellar. I'll definitely be looking for more of your stories now!

  13. An enjoyable and interesting concept. Although it is tempting to see the story as a metaphor for those kinds of woman that toy with men. You know the ones, all sweetness and light until they get what they want and then they're gone... met plenty of those. But that's off topic..

    Regardless - I really enjoyed this and will have to check out more of your work and more of the FFF's.

  14. Loved the story. So that is how it is done. There is something uncomfortably close to the truth about this tale, going on past experience, like Nick Mott said...


Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.